The Goodwin Family - Introduction
This work was initially completed as a means of collating material for an anticipated series of books on Norfolk Island settlers in Van Diemen’s Land by the Hobart Town First Settlers Association. It is hoped with the establishment of this online book that we can definitively tell the story of at least the first three generations of the Goodwin family.
The first members of the family were among the early Europeans to settle Norfolk Island, as well as being members of the First Fleet to Australia, and among the earliest of settlers in Van Diemen’s Land. Andrew Goodwin and Lydia Munro were both convicted of crimes in England and ultimately sentenced to transportation. In a historic event they became members of the first fleet to the antipodes, or New Holland, later named Australia. It was here that they met, and were married.
As if the challenge of their initial transportation wasn’t enough, shortly after arrival they were further transported again to Norfolk Island, a tiny dot of land 1,368 kilometers off the Australian coast. They already had one child, a daughter, and they spent the next 20 or so years farming that island to create a new home for the growing number of their offspring, only to be told they would have to move on once again in 1807 with the closure of the first Norfolk Island settlement. Norfolk Island was abandoned until the next settlement of 1819 when it was re-established as a place of penitentiary, and from whence it gained its awful reputation.
The Goodwins were finally transported to Van Diemen’s Land, later named Tasmania, and this would be the place for their final repose, to complete their family, and participate, if only vicariously, in the lives of their children and grand-children. Andrew and Letitia Goodwin had 11 children, and there are now many thousands of their descendants living in both Australia and New Zealand. There legacy is primarily this living, growing presence, many of whom are inspired to discover the story of their pioneering ancestors. It is hoped that this biography will assist in that regard.
This version of their story began as an amalgamation of material from several significant pieces already written on the Goodwin Family (these references are expanded on the References and Style Guide page):
- John Cobley: Crimes of the First Fleet Convicts.
- Mollie Gillen: The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet; Library of Australian History (1989).
- Irene Schaffer and Thelma McKay: Exiled! Three Times Over! Profiles of Norfolk Islanders exiled in Van Diemen’s Land 1807-13.
- Judy Summers: The Kildare Carrolls of Circular Head.
Early attempts at an amalgamation of the Goodwin story were posted to various Rootsweb Genealogy Mailing Lists, notably Norfolk Island (Sandra Peacock and Grayeme Bone, the latter quoting Mollie Gillen), and of course Tasmania (Garry Wilson, who has assisted on various occasions with Goodwin related research).
The story has since grown substantially through original research. It is also the result of the collaboration of many current day descendants of Andrew and Letitia and other interested parties who are actively researching the family:
Researchers: Anne Johnstone, Carol Ann Moore, Carol Brill, Carole Hayes, Carolyn and Michael Winn, Darlene Scanlan, Don Cockerell, Dorothy Walker, Heather Cook, Shirley McKellar, Jeanette Johnstone, Jeff Green, Jenny Conn, John & Marion Cartledge, John Hammond, John Horton, Judy Summers, Keith Popowski, Les Cockerell, Liz Coleman, Margaret R. Johnson, Robert Gordon Cockerell, Robert Edward (Bob) Cockerell, Robert Gault, Tracey Wegener